The W's of Art
We hear art, as a term being tossed around in a medley of ways. As a matter of fact, we use this term a lot more frequently now, than generations before us did.
This isn't because, art didn't exist back then; art was just accessible to a selected few, the ones with privilege and ran in elite circles, hence just like their art, the artists had a limited audience, to reach out to.
Now, of course, is a different ball game, altogether. In the times of today, there are infinite forms of art, the recipients vary.
Have a quick scan through the list below, and tick the ones that you would categorize art under:
1) A great piece of cinema
2) A profound ad campaign (static & thought-provoking, a hashtag, or the conventional thirty-second sensory video)
3) Live entertainment (Dance, Music, Theatre, Comedy)
4) Interactive pieces
5) A music video
6) Poetry or a series of composed written theories
7) The understanding of the mastery of a certain topic/or way of doing
8) Paintings in a museum
9) Computer generated or digital forms of art
10) All of the above...and much more?
When I Googled, the definition of art, below is what I came across:
1. The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
2. The various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.
Ofcourse, Google, comprising the bounty of information that it does, shared an extensive list of which I picked the two, for no special reason aside from the fact that they broadly explained how it is perceived by the majority of us. Undoubtedly, there is plenty more of where this comes from; but going back to the former objective of this piece; The W's of Art.
What is art?
Who defines it?
When do we know art is art?
Where can art be found?
What category of art is really art?
When does art stop being art?
Let's try breaking down art in categories that it falls under...challenging, but let's attempt it, anyway.
For a child, a gold star scribbled at the top of their assignment by their favorite teacher is art.
For a teacher, mastering techniques of guidance to address each individual in a classroom full of students is art.
For young parents, the most provoking piece of art would have to be the first hand-drawn stick figured family portrait drawn by their little one.
For a newly expecting couple, the sonography of their unborn child could be equivalent to art.
For a student, a well-composed, thoroughly proof-read application letter to the university is art.
For a sports lover, watching their favorite athlete endeavor a distinct technique, and succeed flawlessly attempting it is art.
An architect, designs sketched religiously coming alive is art.
For an art critique, to fumble across a new translation of a piece that they have seen countless times, is art.
For a gardener, their wholesome produce is art.
A scientist, a recent coinage is art.
A writer, anything that motivates them to get thinking and hence writing is art.
A chef and their variation of reinventing recipes is art.
Right about now, I have my mind speed processing the countless number of individuals, professionals and so on that are motivated to act, when they experience what feels like art to them. In theory, alot of the above could be relatable to one or more categories of audience, so some see some as art, because it is what makes them feel, and some don't relate with some at all.
It takes an artist to make you feel/ think/ aspire/ motivate/ ideate/ revolutionize/ create/ do...or does it?
Again, to reiterate, there are infinite forms of art, the recipient varies.
As children, we are without fail engaged in arts & crafts, whether it is through coloring, drawing, building houses with legos, so on and so forth. This is an unchanging trend, which has been passed down eons of time. The very idea of art is to create, and hence is a form of expressionism through our own unique ways. This makes me wonder, are we all born artists, and somewhere down the road (or rather, up the years) forget our art, and let it go?
In the words of Thomas Merton, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Could this be why we forget all that we can create, and the impact we can have on others? It's easier to be on autopilot, than to explore within. In the current fast-paced, no-nonsense, zero-tolerance for bullshit, world that we live in, we sometimes stop looking out and only focus on what's in our little bubble of what we believe can be done within our scope.
We stop experimenting. We stop art-ing. We just do, thoughtlessly.
So here is what I'll leave you with, from what I amateurishly analyze art to be. I believe art to be anything that can make you feel something, anything that can communicate to you, anything you can communicate with, anything that motivates you to act upon that it makes you feel. It takes courage to create, and further courage to realize that all artists start off as amateurs, but the beauty of art is that there are observances in those mistakes, that by itself, those mistakes, and glitches ultimately create art.
Let's not confine art in a box and contain it. Let's allow the artist inside, to come out. Let's create, communicate, and be ridiculously untamable.
Art isn't meant to be defined, it's meant to summon & evoke...or maybe, just maybe, art is meant to create genres of languages, through ever-changing mediums that are meant to address only a select few.
Stories By Giggles